Monday, June 30, 2014

Hobby Lobby Ruling

The Supreme Court just ruled 5-4 that Hobby Lobby, and other similarly closely held corporations, cannot be forced to abide by the Affordable Care Act's requirements to cover contraception for female employees. This concerns me because, like Citizens United, it reverses a long trend of the court saying that the rights citizens of the United States have do not apply to corporations.

The Affordable Care Act contains a provision exempting religious not-for-profit corporations from aspects of the act that might conflict with the religious organization's belief, primarily requirements to cover abortion and reproductive health. There is no such provision for for-profit organizations, which have generally lost when claiming religious exemptions from laws.

However, now Hobby Lobby has successfully used freedom of religion, til now retailed as a right of individuals,  as a rational for a non-religious for-profit corporation to opt out of a legal requirement.

The ruling did say it only applied to closely held corporations, such as Hobby Lobby, and does not apply to other areas of medical concern, such as blood transfusions, since apparently Hobby Lobby has a very specific view of what violates its religious beliefs.

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